Loudoun Grand Jury: Comments From State, Local Officials

EdNews Virginia | December 6, 2022

Following a grand jury’s scathing rebuke of Loudoun County Public Schools administrators, state and local officials are now sharing their own views. Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin and Attorney General Jason Miyares hailed the grand jury’s findings as way to restore accountability. A statement from the Loudoun County School Board was decidedly more nuanced.

“On my first day in office, I issued executive order 4 that empowered AG @JasonMiyaresVA to investigate allegations of sexual assault in Loudoun County public schools,” Governor Youngkin tweeted yesterday. “Today’s report is an important step towards accountability and I applaud the AG for his initiative.”

Attorney General Miyares released a video statement yesterday. “I encourage every Virginian to read the special grand jury report, because it is apparent that the Loudoun County School Board failed to provide proper oversight, accountability, and transparency on the superintendent and their staff precisely at a time when the victims needed them the most,” the attorney general said. “It is our hope that this grand jury report will bring about positive change — not just in Loudoun County schools, but also in every school district in the commonwealth — because the protection of our children should be all of our number one priority.”

In a statement emailed to EdNews Virginia today, the Loudoun County School Board defended itself while vowing to consider the grand jury’s “criticisms” and “recommendations.” The full statement, jointly attributed to School Board Chair Jeff Morse and School Board Vice Chair Ian Serotkin, follows:

“In spite of the recent allegations leveled against Loudoun County School Board (LCSB) members and Loudoun County Public Schools (LCPS) employees over the past several months, we are pleased that the Special Grand Jury’s extensive investigation found no evidence of criminal conduct on the part of anyone within LCPS, and not a single indictment was filed as a result of this lengthy process.

“In a news release on January 15, 2022, Attorney General Miyares alleged that LCPS ‘covered up a sexual assault on school grounds for political gain.’ To the best of our knowledge, this allegation was not true, and, after conducting an eight-month investigative process, during which it had the ability to interview any LCPS employee, Board member, and any other individuals beyond the LCPS community it deemed relevant, and during which it had access to virtually any LCPS record that was not otherwise legally privileged, the Special Grand Jury neither cited any evidence to support this serious allegation nor made any such conclusion in its Report. To the contrary, the Grand Jury’s report stated, ‘We conclude there was not a coordinated cover-up between LCPS administrators and members of the LCSB.’

“This broad use of the special grand jury investigative process did, however, yield a Report that contains several criticisms of LCPS employees and processes within the Division that are quite serious. We are placing this on our next Board agenda for immediate discussion to reflect on these recommendations and take action as determined by the full Board.”